3 Georgia basketball players among 10 finalists for national boys, girls players of year

Head coach Hilda Hankerson instructs Raven Johnson (25), who has been a part of three state championship teams at Westlake.
Head coach Hilda Hankerson instructs Raven Johnson (25), who has been a part of three state championship teams at Westlake.

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Three Georgia players are among 10 overall finalists for the Naismith national high school boys and girls basketball players of the year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced this week.

The Georgia girls are Westlake guard Raven Johnson and Forest Park forward Sania Feagin. Both are committed to South Carolina.

They are among five girls finalists that include St. John’s College High School (D.C.) guard and UConn commit Azzi Fudd, Moore High (Okla.) and Texas commit Aaliyah Moore and Northside (Ark.) guard and Arkansas commit Jersey Wolfenbarger.

The Georgia boy is Sandy Creek forward Jabari Smith, who is committed to Auburn. Other finalists are Paolo Banchero of Odea High (Seattle), Emoni Bates of Ypsi Prep (Mich.), Jaden hardy of Coronado (Nev.) and Chet Holmgren of Minnehaha (Minn.). Banchero is committed to Duke, and Emoni to Michigan State. Hardy and Holmgren are uncommitted.

The winners will be announced March 10.

A Georgia winner wouldn’t be the first.

Past Georgia girls winners include Diamond DeShields of Norcross in 2013, Maya Moore of Collins Hill (2006, 2007) and Kiesha brown of Woodward Academy (1996). Past boys winners are South Atlanta’s Derrick Favors (2009), South Gwinnett’s Louis Williams (2005), Southwest Atlanta Christian’s Dwight Howard (2004) and Randolph-Clay’s Donnell Harvey (1999).

The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the award, which began for high school players in 1987. The Tipoff Club also honors college coaches and players.

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